On Thursday, the Attorney General’s Office in Indiana released an opinion that it’s now considered to be illegal for any public school district in Indianapolis or anywhere in the state to pay for third party bus or transportation services.
This is not the first time that Attorney General Greg Zoeller has weighed in on this issue. Last summer he first issued an opinion that stated: “Franklin Township Community School Corporation’s transportation arrangement does not comply with state law as the school is attempting to do indirectly what it is prohibited from doing directly.”
Since the school district has continued to charge parents, the Attorney General’s new non-binding ruling is meant to insure that the school district won’t charge parents fees for bus services
Financial Relief for Struggling Parents
One school district, The Franklin Township Community School Corporation, hired a nonprofit company: Central Indiana Educational Service Center to offer school bus services to students in their community. Although this service is something that would help to insure that children made it to school safely, it costs parents a total of $475 for each child, per year.
Many parents can’t afford $475 a year for cable television services let alone for school bus services. This is why Mike Speedy, a State Representative from Indianapolis, who also is also the representative for Franklin Township, stepped in and asked the Attorney General to step up and deal with this issue.
What Happens Next?
Although the Attorney General’s opinion is not considered to be a legal decision it’s seen as a win for parents who are struggling financially during the recession. Since the opinion was released, the State Board of Accounts has promised to review the busing arrangement between Franklin Township and Central Indiana Educational Service Center. If the school district or the busing company’s arrangement is found to be inappropriate, either of them could be ordered by the state to return any fees that have been collected from people in the school district who were forced to pay for busing their children to school.